The back room

Data Straegy talks to data practitioners who toil un-noticed behind the scenes

What is your name and job title?

My name is Huyen Ton Nu Hoang Lan, but everyone calls me Lan. I come from Vietnam and I am senior analyst at Huw Davis Partnership.

What does your job involve? Is there a lot of pressure?

Well my day starts at 2am UK time as I work at HDP’s office in Singapore. I normally start the day with a Skype chat with UK if anyone is awake – amazingly Huw is normally at the end of the line and we discuss what projects have come in during the previous day while I was asleep. My responsibilities are to produce for a range of clients the analytical insight output for UK data strategy projects. I sometimes work on Asian-specific modelling, but most of the time it is UK. We are always under time pressure as clients and agencies normally want not only the results in the same day, but also the interpretation. I enjoy the pressure of tight deadlines as it focuses the mind on what is really important for the client.

Are you part of a team or do you work alone?

I work in a team most of whom are from Asia, although Amanda Spencer, our analytic director, comes from the UK and she oversees all the work to make sure the insights reflect the UK consumers’ buying behaviour. I prefer working in a team and for fun we are teaching each other to speak each other’s languages, but maths is our common language which we all understand.

In what ways does your work see the light of day? How is it used by your company?

The majority of my work is directly presented back to the clients or agencies as part of a bigger solution. A lot of my work turns into targeted selections and it is great seeing what has worked once the campaign results come back to us.

What is the best thing about your job?

I think the range of projects. One day it can be a UK charity, the next an Indonesian cinema loyalty scheme. You really never know what the next challenge might be. I also have been able to travel to the UK and meet the clients directly, which has been really interesting.

What technique/application/piece of data would make your life easier?

A piece of software, which can automatically tell you what variables are not logically correct. We have to spend so much time cleaning and restructuring bad quality data.

What are your ambitions?

My aim is to grow my skill base in marketing and statistics with HDP. I have been with the company for over two years – right from the start – and I want to eventually be the head of analytics for Asia Pacific, or even MD of Asia. (Huw, you have been warned!)

You have a life – what do you get up to in it?

Staying and working in Singapore is enjoyable. Shopping, restaurants, bars are all around you. But this doesn’t mean all I do is shoe shopping in office hours! I spend my weekends in shopping malls looking for big sales, new clothes arrivals and meeting up with friends for bowling, or a spa retreat after long working hours. I do love cooking Vietnamese food as well.

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